Boone and Crockett Club President Lowell E. Baier of Bethesda, Md., is among several stalwart big-game conservationists named to Outdoor Life's list of 25 people who've had the greatest positive impact on hunting, fishing and conservation.
Today the Club congratulated all of the selectees, especially those who’ve had a hand in North America’s unprecedented success in restoring and managing big game populations.
“Whether you hunt whitetails in the East, bighorns out West, caribou up North or grizzly bears in Alaska, you’re part of a conservation model unlike any other in the world. True, the public may never understand the debt it owes to hunters. But even we hunters tend to think of our greatest accomplishments in the past tense, when in fact our successes are continuing all around us. We’re grateful to Outdoor Life for shining a light on some of these great stories,” said Tony Schoonen, chief of staff for Boone and Crockett Club.
Notable big-game conservationists on the OL 25 list include:
Lowell E. Baier—As the 28th president of the Club started by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, Baier is part of a long tradition in conservation. Boone and Crockett trophy records have always been a gauge of wildlife habitat and management programs, but Baier has focused organizational efforts directly on the land. “For me, it’s about the habitat as much as the hunt,” he says. Baier led a campaign to conserve Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch in North Dakota, a monster effort that landed him honors as the 2008 Conservationist of the Year by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and 2008 Conservationist of the Year by Budweiser. He also is a charter founder of the Wild Sheep Foundation.
Senator Jon Tester—Crafted the landmark “Forest Jobs and Recreation Act” affecting some 600,000 acres of Montana backcountry lost for 25 years in a bureaucratic land-use stalemate. The act preserves some Montana lands as wilderness yet requires sustainable timber harvest on much of the rest. Hunters can access these lands, watersheds will be preserved and unemployed loggers and mill workers will go back to work.
Tom Fruechtel—As president and CEO of Oregon-based Leupold & Stevens, Fruechtel leads a product-licensing program that raises significant funding for Boone and Crockett Club conservation and education efforts. He also leads by example to help his industry become more accessible to young people, and he volunteers for organizations that promote conservation and shooting sports.
Bob Munson and Charlie Decker—Both are primary founders of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, one of the nation’s most effective wildlife conservation organizations, with more than 150,000 members in 500 chapters across the country. The outfit has conserved and enhanced more than 5.6 million acres of wildlife habitat and helped restore elk to historic range across the nation.
Karl Malone—A former NBA star who now devotes his time, energy and resources to advancing wildlife conservation and youth hunting programs. His contributions have provided access for hunters, habitat for bighorn sheep, mule deer and elk, and outdoor gear for underprivileged kids. In addition, Malone founded the Hunts for Heroes program, which sponsors all-expenses-paid hunts for soldiers, firefighters and police.
Coni and Randy Brooks—Their Utah-based company, Barnes Bullets, became one of the foremost bullet makers in the country with the invention of the X Bullet, a unique, all-copper bullet with no lead core. But their innovation is matched by their devotion to conservation, with volunteer service and leadership on the Utah Wildlife Board, Utah Safari Club and Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife.
Photos and bios of all 25 selectees appear in the December/January 2010 edition of Outdoor Life.
Online voting for fan favorites lasts through late December at www.outdoorlife.com.